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2 Insimbi ZeZhwane members die in car crash

Life & Style
The band’s founder and lead vocalist Elvis “MaEli” Mathe and drummer Thembinkosi Mpofu, popularly known as Mviri, died in the accident, while 10 others were injured.

THE arts fraternity has been plunged into mourning following the death of two members of Matabeleland-based rhumba music group Insimbi ZeZhwane in a road accident on Saturday.

The accident happened near Fatima High School along the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Highway.

The vehicle they were travelling in is said to have burst its front tyre and veered off the road before hitting a tree.

The band’s founder and lead vocalist Elvis “MaEli” Mathe and drummer Thembinkosi Mpofu, popularly known as Mviri, died in the accident, while 10 others were injured.

The injured were taken to St Luke’s Hospital, where they are being treated.

The band was based in South Africa since its formation, but relocated to Zimbabwe early this year where it is based in Bulawayo.

Band manager Bahlanu Sibanda, of Underground Entertainment, confirmed the death of the two in a statement.

“Underground Entertainment and iNsimbi Zezhwane music band jointly regrets to inform you of the passing of two band members today (August 5). The band was involved in a car accident that happened near Lupane Fatima along Bulawayo Victoria Falls Road,” he said.

“Among the deceased is Elvis Mathe who played the lead guitar and was also the leading vocalist as well as the drumist known as Maviri. The rest of the band members were taken to the nearby hospital with critical injuries.

“Our condolences to the family, friends and music lovers at large, the spear has fallen and a big lose to the entertainment industry. May their souls rest in peace.”

In a statement, the police said the group was coming from Binga, and driving to Harare via Bulawayo.

“A Toyota Hilux with foreign number plates burst a tyre resulting in the vehicle veering off the road before hitting a tree at the 200km peg along the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls road," said the police.

The arts mother body, National Arts Council of Zimbabwe said the deaths of “MaEli” and “Maviri” leave behind a deep void in the music community and the hearts of their devoted fans.

“The National Arts Council of Zimbabwe extends its deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Elvis Mathe and Thembinkosi Mpofu. Our sympathies also extend to all the band members' families who have been affected by this untimely and unfortunate situation. We wish the remaining band members a speedy recovery,” NACZ director Nicholas Moyo said.

Insimbi Zezhwane Rhumba band started recording in 2015 and to date boast of a total of seven albums which include ‘Iseqa mgwaqo’, ‘Inhlanzi Encane’, ‘Sizalendaba’, ‘Dikidiki’,’ Inganekwane’, ‘Impande yeminyela’ and ‘Imbemba’.

The Insimbi seZhwane has had a tremendous impact on the local music scene having won several awards including the Bulawayo Arts Awards (BAA) and being nominated for the outstanding Tshibilika/Rhumba Act and the outstanding song of the Year for their song Imbemba at this year’s Zimbabwe Music Awards.

With MaEli at the helm, Insimbi zeZhwane created their unique Rhumba sound which brought them instant recognition becoming the most sought-after Rhumba band for live performances in the Matabeleland and Bulawayo Region.  

Burial arrangements will be announced in due course.

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